Nintendo Switch: Region Free Gaming Speculations

By Michael Augustin , Updated Dec 13, 2016 05:09 AM EST

Ever since its announcement, the Nintendo Switch has generated many speculations from fans. Players were able to see the portable console's commercials, which showcased most of its features like multiplayer, portability, controller configuration and design. However, one of the most nagging questions most players are asking about is the consoles region lock.

Players have always resorted to third party accessories or even modifications in order to play region-locked software. Software companies usually imposed these limitations to prevent some games from being played on a region-specific console. This is apparently due to some game content ratings, which might not be approved for a certain territory. Nintendo has always applied region-locking to its consoles. According to Siliconera, the Japanese company is speculated to make the Nintendo Switch region-free.

The Nintendo Switch made a surprise debut last week on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon." Fans were quick to analyze everything about the hybrid console during its limited time in the limelight. Rumors have been going around claiming the console would be region-free. Sony and Microsoft have already removed the region-lock limitation from its flagship consoles, which leads gamers to assume Nintendo would follow suit. However a close-up shot of the Switch's back side reveals a hint that says otherwise.

Jimmy Fallon appears to have been playing on a Nintendo Switch with a European CE mark. While it does not really confirm a region lock, the mark indicates that the console is intended for European markets. The CE mark is an equivalent to the FCC of the United States. Electronics meant for sale in Europe are required to have that mark. However, other European consoles bearing the same mark are also region-free.

A region-free Nintendo Switch could mark another first for the Japanese gaming company. The console has reportedly received positive remarks from most gamers. The console's image promotes portability, which means players are sure to bring it with them on trips. Nintendo is scheduled to officially unveil the hybrid console on Jan. 13, 2017.

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